Red Tape Translation just helped British and Australian tourists in Berlin at the police station in Prenzlauerberg, after they lost track of a very important carry-on suitcase containing passports, a laptop, and internet banking passwords. This discovery was accompanied by several heart palpitations, as the tourists had flights booked to London the following evening, and weren’t having any luck communicating with anyone, let alone solving their suitcase mystery. They had less than 24 hours to recover the missing suitcase, or there would be emergency trips to more than one embassy very early the next morning. Here’s what happened.
Coming to Germany for medical reasons can be scary. If you don’t speak German and you’re nervous about communicating with the hospital staff, have a chat to Red Tape Translation about having a German speaker around to help.
Red Tape Translation just finished a rather large and unique medical interpreting assignment. I was hired for almost three full time weeks by a patient traveling to Berlin for surgery at a private clinic in north-east Berlin. As well as interpreting German and English in every possible situation for the patient and the family, I assisted with organizing accommodation, transport, shopping, cleaning, and errand-running.
Graphic Designer Gill Thomas talks about the Red Tape Translation postcard design.
Recognizing Paternity in Berlin
How to get the father of your baby on the German birth certificate if you’re not married
What is a Vaterschaftsanerkennung?
If you are not married to your partner and you are expecting a baby in Germany, you will have to acknowledge paternity for Germany to legally recognize the father of your baby. This is done through a legally binding document known as a Vaterschaftsanerkennung. The name of the father will then be printed on your child’s birth certificate.
The new kid on the block in the quarter north of Schönhauser Allee is a mountain child. Cosy, warm, and kid-friendly, Bergkind Cafe is run by the charming Carmen Garcia, who today donned bright pink sneakers and a high-topped bun and told me that the cafe opened just before Christmas last year. She’s decorated the intimate space in light, earthy colours, with tempting cake displays, a comfy sofa, lots of pillows, a stack of magazines, and jazz standards playing in the background. It’s tasteful and welcoming, and yes, the WLAN password hangs invitingly from the wall.
About the Author: Kathleen Parker dedicates her time to helping English speakers settle into life in Berlin. Through her company Red Tape Translation, she offers phone interpreting for English speakers who are reticent to make German phone calls, and accompanies Australians, Kiwis, Canadians, Brits, South Africans, Americans, and many other international Berliners to their appointments at the immigration office, the job center, real estate agencies, and banks.
This place is an extra special treat if you’re living in Berlin. The love and care that has gone into restoring and designing this glamorous 1920‘s coffee house is extraordinary. Freshly opened at the beginning of December 2012, we visited just before Christmas with friends, and we left enchanted. Every detail, from the plates, trays, cups, chairs, cutlery, artwork, ornamentation, and even the serving uniform, has been lovingly thought out and charmingly executed.
Expecting Christmas presents from home? If you’re living in Berlin, or somewhere else in Germany, and are pining for Yuletide deliveries from Australia, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or any other non-EU area, pay attention. The European Union might have its own very special Christmas present in mind just for you: import tax.
It will take some trial and error, some grinding and gnashing of teeth, some unexpected bills and maybe some frustrating confrontations. Often, your well-meaning loved ones in foreign lands don’t realize that their lovingly prepared parcels can cause so much angst.
Here’s how it works
This weary translator can be found tucked up in this cosy Wedding cafe between appointments at the Ausländerbehörde, and in this regard, the cafe’s name is quite fitting. Auszeit (Time Out) is on a picturesque corner of Kiatschoustraße in Wedding, a short walk over a quaint bridge connecting the quarter to Friedrich-Krause Ufer, where the foreigner’s office is located.
Things you learn by interpreting at a Berlin real estate agency; how to air out your apartment, German-style.
The air was thick (but not stale!) with intensity as two Red Tape Translation clients picked up their pens, and signed the contract for their brand new Berlin apartment. Shortly before signing, we pored through the rental contract together and got to Appendix 3 – a 14 point list of instructions on how to heat and air your new apartment properly. Both bemused and bewildered by the thorough list of instructions, I decided to investigate further.
German language enthusiasts are spoiled for choice, with cheap and good quality German tuition on just about every street corner. Highly recommended: expath.de, Die Neue Schule, and of course the renowned Goethe Institut, if you can afford it. Unfortunately, your job doesn’t stop when the class is over. Berlin is international, so it’s hard to avoid speaking English. But the city is full of opportunities to immerse yourself in German. Here are five uncomplicated ways of going about it.
Force yourself to make friends who don’t speak English.